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Astronomers have discovered a new colossal object that is bigger than a comet slowly approaching the Solar System

Comets are the frozen leftovers from the formation of the solar system, the characteristics of a comet can be described as an object in space that looks like a bright star with a tail and that moves around the sun. Comets have always been a matter of interest for scientists and astronomers as they hold clues about the formation of the universe. In the past decade, astronomers have discovered a new colossal object that is bigger than any other comet on the outskirts of the Solar System and it is slowly approaching it.

Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein was first observed in the year 2014 by the Dark Energy Survey and was named "2014 UN271". Estimated to be between 100 to 370 kilometres in width astronomers and scientists considered it to be a dwarf planet at first has now been classified as a comet. The comet orbiting around the sun at a much greater distance as compared to Neptune, the eighth and final planet in our solar system, hence the comet was originally termed as a trans-Neptunian Object or TNO.

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The team from Universities of Arizona State and Washington combined data from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with computer simulations to successfully match the brightness of Martian ice and determine its dust content.

A team of US scientists has developed a new approach to determine how dusty Mars ice really is, and whether it could melt.
Mars is a dusty planet, so much of its ice is also dusty and much darker than fresh snow we might see on Earth. The dustier the ice is, the darker and thus warmer the ice gets, which can affect both its stability and evolution through time. Under certain conditions, this might also mean that the ice could melt on Mars.
The team from Universities of Arizona State and Washington combined data from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with computer simulations to successfully match the brightness of Martian ice and determine its dust content. Their results have been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. "There is a chance that this dusty and dark ice might melt a few centimetres down. And any subsurface liquid water produced from melting will be protected from evaporating in Mars' wispy atmosphere by the overlying blanket of ice," said Aditya Khuller, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University.


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Luminous

Solar power systems are the best and most consumer-friendly methods to achieve clean energy for your household.

By- Yashvi

Issues like global warming and climate change are increasingly gaining traction all around the globe. Due to this, individuals are shifting to more eco-friendly lifestyles. To do this, people have started taking small steps towards changing their way of living. One such step to sustainability is switching to renewable energy and power resources.

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The Juno spacecraft captured this image when the spacecraft was only 11,747 miles (18,906 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter's clouds.

Jupiter's clouds have water conditions that would allow Earth-like life to exist, but this isn't possible in Venus' clouds, according to the groundbreaking finding of research led by Queen's University Belfast scientists. For some decades, space exploration missions have looked for evidence of life beyond earth where we know that large bodies of water, such as lakes or oceans, exist or have previously existed.

However, the new research shows that it isn't the quantity of water that matters for making life viable, but the effective concentration of water molecules -- known as 'water activity. The new study also found that research published by an independent team of scientists last year, claiming that the phosphine gas in Venus' atmosphere indicates possible life in the sulphuric acid clouds of Venus, is not plausible. Through this innovative research project, Dr. John E. Hallsworth from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen's and his team of international collaborators devised a method to determine the water activity of atmospheres of a planet.

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Using their approach to study the sulphuric acid clouds of Venus, the researchers found that the water activity was more than a hundred times below the lower limit at which life can exist on earth. The research also shows that Jupiter's clouds have a high enough concentration of water, as well as the correct temperature, for life to exist there. The study has been published in Nature Astronomy.

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